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Response to Diane Abbott MP’s letter in the Observer

Our statement in response to Diane Abbott MP's letter in the Observer about racism.

‘In the Holocaust, six million men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators – only because they were Jewish.

Between 250,000 – 500,000 Sinti and Roma people were murdered. Again, this was because of their Roma or Sinti heritage.

To say that white people are not subject to racism is factually wrong, a distortion of history and an insult both to the victims and to those who survived horrific persecution. Antisemitism – anti-Jewish hatred – and anti-Gypsyism are forms of racism, ones that are deeply ingrained even today.

Diane Abbott’s apology for her appalling letter is a start, but the letter shows her fundamental lack of understanding of racism, and the different forms it takes. Moreover, to compare different forms of racism is unhelpful and dangerously divisive.

We urge Ms Abbott to put her apology into action, and learn more about the complexities of each form of racism.’

– The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust